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ABSA Group Limited has recorded an increase in revenue from 75.7 billion rand to 161.1 billion rand in 2018 a year of almost unprecedented corporate activity.

The group repositioned itself in 2018 compared to 2017 for delivery against a new growth strategy as an independent African bank.

Absa said shareholders would receive a final dividend of 11.10 rand per share, a 4 per cent increase from final 2017 dividend.

Normalised earnings, the bank said, were considered the best measure of underlying group performance as it stripped out the distorting effect of items related to the separation from Barclays Bank Plc.

Absa Group Financial director, Jason Quinn, said the group was pleased with improved momentum as it embarked on a new growth strategy.

“In our largest business, retail in South Africa, lending momentum outpaced the market showing good new business growth across home loans, vehicle and asset finance and personal loans.

Absa also gained market share in deposits which grew by 11 per cent with strong growth in fixed and notice deposits,” he said.

And Absa Group Chief executive officer Rene Van Wyk said 2018 recorded unprecedented activity as the business was re-set as an independent bank after Barclays Plc reduced its shareholding to a minority stake in 2017.

“Absa Group announced a new strategy in March as it repositioned itself as an independent African banking group focused on growth.

In April, a new operating model was implemented to structure the business for delivery against the new strategy.

“In June, Absa group achieved regulatory deconsolidation from Barclays Plc, which meant that regulators no longer regarded the two businesses as a consolidated entity and in July the group started trading as Absa Group and launched refreshed brand in South Africa,” he said.

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